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East Riding College announces merger plans

East Riding College today (July 4) announced merger plans with the Lincolnshire-based TEC Partnership, recognised as one of England’s largest providers of further and higher education.

In a statement issued to Beverley Fm, the college, which opened its current Beverley campus in 2015, said the current funding climate for further education meant many organisations were considering ways to safeguard their long term sustainability. 

‘Not only will joining the TEC partnership provide East Riding College with added sustainability, it will also provide scope for the College to continue to thrive and maintain its high performance,” the statement added. 

The TEC partnership, formerly the Grimsby Institute Group, includes Grimsby Institute, University Centre Grimsby, Scarborough TEC, Skegness TEC, The Academy Grimsby and others.

East Riding College will retain its independence and identity, the college stressed, and Mike Welsh, the college’s Principal and chief executive, told us: “I believe this is the right thing to do.  Joining such a strong and influential partnership as an equal partner gives us the means and resources to increase opportunities for our communities and realise our ambitions for the region.”   

He continued: “East Riding College continues to perform extremely well, with overall achievement rates putting us in the top 15 per cent of general further education colleges nationally, making us the number one general FE College based in Yorkshire.”

Gill Alton, chief executive officer of the TEC Partnership said, “I’m delighted with today’s news.  This is a fantastic opportunity for East Riding College and the TEC Partnership.  We will now work together over the coming months to help East Riding College integrate with the Partnership whilst maintaining our absolute focus on our learners and our colleagues in both organisations.  This opportunity will ensure the wider region benefits from a long term strategy to ensure that our curriculum delivers what the regional economy needs.”

The process of joining the Partnership begins now and the College expect to finalise the merger towards the end of their new academic year after public consultation and consultation with their stakeholders.

Simon Wright, the Chair of the Corporation at East Riding College said: “We are gaining the opportunity to be part of a high performing visionary organisation leading the way in the wider education sector, both regionally and nationally. 

“We will be able to build on our existing strengths and we will continue to be a driving force in the economic success and social development of our region, which has always been an integral part of our mission.”